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David Nelson, of Ozzie and Harriet Fame, Dies at 74

Actor David Nelson, best known for his role on the 50s family sit-com “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” has died at 74 from complications related to colon cancer, a family spokesman said.

Nelson starred with his parents and brother, Ricky Nelson on show from 1952 to 1966 it what has become known as the Golden Era of television.

In many ways, the sit-com was one of the first reality television shows. It began on radio focusing on bandleader Ozzie and his singer wife Harriet. The show transitioned to television in 1952.

The show focused on the foibles of a nuclear family growing up in the suburbs. Ozzie wasn’t always the wizened father, but somehow helped resolved problems with his avuncular wit.

David started on the radio show in 1949. By then, the show had been on the air for five years.

David was the last living member of the Nelsons TV family. Ricky died in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve in 1985.

Ricky’s son, Gunnar Nelson, called his uncle’s death “a great loss to the Nelson family.”

“We will all miss Uncle Dave’s laughter and evolved sense of humor,” he said in a statement.

The actor appeared in such films as “Peyton Place,” “The Remarkable Mr. Pennypacker,” “Day of the Outlaw” and made guest appearances on such television shows as “The Love Boat,” “Up in Smoke” and a “Family For Joe.”

Nelson’s last film appearance was in “Cry-Baby” in 1990. The film was directed by John Waters and starred porn actress Traci Lords, although it was not a porn film.

David is survived by his wife, five children and seven grandkids.

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